Malcolm Lee Leaving UCLA
UCLA junior guard Malcolm Lee has decided to enter this year's draft.
His father, Toshio Lee, told NBADraft.net's Rodney Halprin on Monday Night, "Malcolm is in. He has received experiences that will last a lifetime and I would recommend any kid go there." He also spoke very highly of Coach Ben Howland and UCLA.
The Bruin junior is coming off a minor knee surgery and expected to be back training in a few weeks.
Lee had a strong showing in the NCAA tournament, particularly against Michigan State, raising his draft stock. He is projected by scouts as a late first to early second round pick.
Jordan Williams Entering the Draft
We've learned that Maryland bigman Jordan Williams will also enter his name into this year's NBA draft.
Leon Williams, Jordan's father, confirmed with NBADraft.net's Rodney Halprin on Monday that "Jordan is testing the waters... but nothing is official, he is considering it but no decision has been made on him staying in the draft."
There is speculation that Jordan will ultimately leave his name in the draft, but he's leaving his options open at the moment and seeing where he's being projected before making a decision.
Throw Williams name on a growing pile of bubble first rounders. The list of players looking to grab a late first round spot is sure to balloon. The fact that a number of high first rounders (like Sullinger) are deciding to return only makes that possibility even more tantilizing.
Joshua Smith Sending Out Feelers
According to a source, UCLA bigman Joshua Smith is sending out feelers with NBA teams to see where he could expect to be drafted if he were to test the draft process this year.
Smith has intriguing size, but NBA scouts we've spoken with see him as an unpolished bigman that's too far away from being ready to be considered as a first rounder. He's a mid-second to undrafted player according to everyone we've talked to.
He has some maturing to do. He still needs to address his weight issue (20-25 lbs overweight) and show more focus and dedication at all times on the court.
An overweight player is the last thing teams have on their minds heading into a lockout. Hopefully Smith is receiving the right feedback and will ultimately put his NBA dreams on hold and decide to return to Westwood.
Don't see why Jordan Williams or Joshua Smith should come out this year. They could get Orton-ed.
^^ Jordan Williams was a double double monster this year. Averaged 16.9 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg after a solid near double double freshman year. I mean the kid had 20+15 against Duke and 13+19 against Carolina. I don't think it's quite fair to throw him in there with a guy like Daniel Orton, a guy who averaged 3 ppg in college and got drafted purely on size. Jordan Williams is a big and strong kid, has nice soft hands and touch, is a monster on the glass and is more athletic than he's given credit for. I think in this weak draft class he could easily go top 25 or higher. I think it's a good time for him to come out. He's had 2 great years in the ACC, I dont' know how much more he can improve in college. He won't be a star in the NBA but I do think he will have a solid career.
I'm aware of that. I meant to imply that he should stay in school and work on solidifying his stock. Williams is by NO MEANS a lock for the first round. If he can get in better shape and increase his shooting range, he could find himself in the late-lotto to mid first-round area. I don't see him as a rotation player on many teams next year if he does leave school.
So Daniel Orton got a guaranteed contract worth a few million dollars and now he is an example of the downside of declaring early? I don't buy that. Most people in life would be happy to set themselves up for life. Sometimes the right basketball decision is not the right personal decision. I think if either Williams or Smith were guaranteed the first round, they would probably take the guaranteed contract.
Yeah Williams isnt a lock for the first round but he is a lock as far as NBA talent. I think he will stay because he's gonna punish ALL and i do mean ALL the other big men that are in the draft. And with the training he's gonn aget leading up to the workouts he's gonn abe in better shape. Personally as a Maryland fan i hope he stinks it up so he can come back to Maryland:). But i do know for a fact that PHX is in love with him
I don't see things that way. Daniel Orton should not have entered the draft last season. He was clearly not ready. He had top-10 talent, but fell all the way to the end of the first round. If he had stayed in school, he would have seen the playing time required for a player that young to improve; and if Kentucky played well with him on the team (there is little reason to think otherwise) he could have been billed one of the top big men in the draft.
While Williams is certainly more polished than Orton was coming out of school, he's also not an NBA rotation player yet. His scoring ability can still improve a great deal. While he has a great touch around the rim, he's a very inconsistent free throw shooter. His shooting range isn't anything special either. Any NBA team would be intrigued by his special combination of power, soft hands and touch; but that's not enough to make a good NBA player. His passing ability isn't above average, but Maryland is a great program to improve that particular skill. Defensively, he will struggle against both power forwards and centers at the next level. By focusing on improving his conditioning, his mobility will increase and that will help him on both ends of the floor.
I'm familiar with Williams and I've enjoyed watching him play this year. I just don't see the upside to him entering the draft this season. He can be a better NBA player and a borderline lottery pick by staying another year and working on his faults.
To be fair Im starting to doubt Orton would have been good enough to be drafted in the first round, that guy sucks. Anyone can look good playing 10-mpg but being a full rotation player he would get exposed and at the very most likely become a 2nd rounder. Noone can blame him for taking the oppurtunity that was falsely created for him, for whatever reason it was created.
Williams entering the draft is not a big deal to me, but Smith needs to wait. He has to stay in UCLA, cut down his weight by alot trim it down because this is a speedy league nowadays, and get his head out of the gutter. Being an opverwieght 2nd rounder is not what hes looking for right now.